ANIMALS: Care for the workers

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Working animals, such as horses, donkeys and camels, are fundamental in supporting the livelihoods of the world’s poorest people.

More than 200 million working animals do the jobs of trucks, tractors and taxis, helping to provide a small income for a billion people in developing countries worldwide.

But this vast global workforce is largely unknown and ignored.

It’s easy to forget that these animals played a key part in our own history, even for large parts of the last century. Today, 40 per cent of people in the UK don’t know what a working animal is, but from cart and plough horses to pit ponies, they were a familiar sight in the streets, fields and workplaces of Britain for centuries.

Many working animals endure hard lives and very few have access to the veterinary care they need when they are sick or injured. These invisible heroes need our help.

I’m asking everyone to back SPANA’s International Working Animal Day today (Thursday). We need to recognise the massive contribution of working animals and ensure they get the veterinary treatment, respect and compassion they deserve.

If readers agree, I kindly ask that they show their support for these hardworking animals by visiting www.spana.org/IWAD

Geoffrey Dennis,

Chief Executive, SPANA (Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad)